High quality wire sources? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-25-2013, 02:46 PM   #15
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Interesting discussion. The only thing I will add is that I prefer tinned wire (which is getting hard to find locally) and I prefer to solder connections when appropriate. My area is electronics not electrical which may explain my bias. Raz
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Old 10-25-2013, 02:47 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
After 40 plus years of being an electrician I can honestly say wire is wire is wire . The conductivity of the copper in any brand of wire is basically the same (UL & ANSI Standards) . Solid or stranded wire again is manufactured to UL standards , Type and thickness of insulation is again uniform and manufactured to UL standards . Wire varies by insulation types by use --temperature rating -sunlight resistance -wet or dry location -oil & gas resistance - underground use - installed as a cable or in a conduit system - voltage rating - subject to physical damage. MTW can be purchased with 37 strands to increase flexibility versus the standard 19 strand , but in a trailer the wire is not subject to constant flexing . When I would order wire for a job , sometimes a million feet at one time ,I was mainly concerned with cost which varied with copper prices ,cause wire is wire . We did have problems with wire from Korea but they had a limited exposure in the market and the wire did not meet ANSI standards .The NEC limits solid conductors to sizes #14 -#12-# 10 ---#8 or larger is stranded (General Code Rule but there are exceptions)

I agree wire is wire. However all insulation is not created the same. The automotive and trucking industries require SAE GLX or SLX insulated wire. Primarily because or resistance to abrasion and fire. You put cheap vinyl insulated wire in your trailer you're looking for a trailer fire. Wire that meets UL94 is better than not, but the best for your expensive trailer is SAE SXl, however, I believe GXL (Special purpose Cross Link, General purpose Cross Link) The difference is the thickness of the insulation.

Is your thousands of dollars trailer worth putting in cheap wire and risking fire or is it worth spending a bit more and reducing the risk of fire?
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Old 10-25-2013, 02:52 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post
Interesting discussion. The only thing I will add is that I prefer tinned wire (which is getting hard to find locally) and I prefer to soldered connections when appropriate. My area is electronics not electrical which may explain my bias. Raz
Hi Raz.
Having worked in trucking electronics I discovered that the soldering not a very good connection. If you look in automobiles and airplanes, even in today's computers you wont find soldered wires. What you will find is connectors attached to a PC board with the wires crimped.
However not all crimps are made equal. Here again a few extra bucks will save a lot of time and trouble. A hand crimper that requires you to get the crimp tight enough before the handles will release is worth the extra cost. Those cheap crimpers with wire strippers and cutters can cause a lot of trouble.
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Old 10-25-2013, 03:07 PM   #18
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Those cheap crimpers with wire strippers and cutters can cause a lot of trouble.
Well, we agree here. That's progress.
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Old 10-25-2013, 04:20 PM   #19
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Try buying 1/0 stranded cable in black and white insulation for a battery to inverter run. Best for those ignoring the rv insulation key to tag their battery leads positive and negative in the interest of those coming after.

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Old 10-25-2013, 04:55 PM   #20
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Try buying 1/0 stranded cable in black and white insulation for a battery to inverter run. Best for those ignoring the rv insulation key to tag their battery leads positive and negative in the interest of those coming after.

jack
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Old 10-25-2013, 05:09 PM   #21
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P. Raz, My neighbor, a ship captain, turned me on to Marine Grade wire that is stranded and tinned. I will never use anything else on a trailer from now on.
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Old 10-25-2013, 05:20 PM   #22
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Milspec: You only crimp the connection once because Should you do it again, you loosen up the crimp.

The best crimp tools are a ratchet type where the crimp is not final until you get to the last click.
Ratcheting Crimping Tool
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Old 10-26-2013, 06:22 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
Hi Raz. Having worked in trucking electronics I discovered that the soldering not a very good connection. If you look in automobiles and airplanes, even in today's computers you wont find soldered wires. What you will find is connectors attached to a PC board with the wires crimped. However not all crimps are made equal. Here again a few extra bucks will save a lot of time and trouble. A hand crimper that requires you to get the crimp tight enough before the handles will release is worth the extra cost. Those cheap crimpers with wire strippers and cutters can cause a lot of trouble.
I work on aircraft, they have soldered wires. I do agree on using ratcheting crimpers, along with marine adhesive heat shrink.

As for wire, I usually buy from waytek or delcity. I found the marine grade cheaper on eBay when I did the camper last winter. I think I ended up with 15' of 4 gauge, 25' of 8 gauge, 25' of 10 gauge, and 100' of 12 gauge in both colors.
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Old 10-26-2013, 07:24 AM   #24
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I'm not advocating using poor quality wire, but isn't all the discussion about using "Marine Grade" and SLX & GLX grade wire, etc. a bit of overkill?

And fire danger???? After this discussion started yesterday I called up my peeps at a local RV dealer, that has been in business for 30+ years, and the service manager there said that he had never seen a trailer fire started by a 12 volt wire that was properly fused. He did allow that he had seen several that were started when owners had added wires that were not fused.

I can appreciate the need for extra caution in marine applications, what with an engine and gas on board, and lots of opportunity for water in the wrong places, there are a lot more risks, and the outcome can be very serious. But, as I mentioned earlier, we aren't wiring Space Shuttles here. My take is still to use good quality wire, a ratchet style crimper, lots of wire ties and properly fuse everything.

BTW: My first training was in aircraft wiring in the Navy, and we never soldered wire terminals, and that was on every thing from Super Connie's to Anti-submarine and fighter aircraft that were carrier based. If your trailer is subjected to more stress than a catapult launch and arresting gear recovery let us all know.
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Old 10-26-2013, 07:38 AM   #25
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Orange drop cord wire

As a kid I wired lots of speaker systems. I learned that an outdoor drop cord in a heavy gauge was cheaper and more durable than commercial speaker wire. I can imagine the same benefit in certain RV applications, especially where space is not a constraint. Cheers, john
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Old 10-26-2013, 09:10 AM   #26
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After 40 plus years of being an electrician I can honestly say wire is wire is wire
I agree 100% and wanted to say so on the front end of this thread. However, not being an electrician by trade I don't have the "creds". Mr Dunham does. That being said, I can recall nearly 50 years ago being the "go to" guy in my high school if you wanted a custom install on your new 8-Track player. I did a bunch and used whatever wire came with the unit or whatever I could scrounge out of my dad's manufacturing plant. I don't recall ever having problems with the wire itself, any issues that occured were always in the connections. I soon learned that soldering was the best (not the easiest) route and, not having heat shrink tubing back then, a liberal application of black plastic tape. All manufacturers now use crimp connections and a certain percentage WILL fail. It's ususally not evident or easy but you just have to find the source of the problem and deal with it. I don't think there is enough movement of the wiring in our trailers to expect failures due to chafing. Most fire risks would be due to overloading a circuit that was either not fused or over fused not the grade of insulation on a wire. Everyone should use what they think is the best product. Nobody was ever sorry they bought the best there is.
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:36 PM   #27
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As I suspected there is quite a few options available for the wire, especially the insulation. You have given me the info needed to fully research.

Your input has been very helpful. And as always, any further input is always welcomed.

Craig T.
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Old 10-27-2013, 08:41 PM   #28
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This site: Del City Interactive Catalog

Has pretty much all the different types of wire that has been discussed here at very reasonable prices.

I purchased all the wire for my total trailer rewire from them.

Not about to admit what I bought.

Spanke
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